In a nutshell, worth playing! There were routes that I liked, but there were some routes that I felt bordered on the edge of domestic violence, which I did not like. Still, I was thrilled to have another otome title to play on my Vita.
The game starts out when your childhood friend, Hiroya, approaches you to ask about your (step)-brother. He says that he hasn’t heard from him in a couple of days, and you decide to check in on your brother with your childhood friend. You find out that he has mysteriously disappeared and there is a loading screen on his computer for a game that your brother and Hiroya have been playing together. But there’s this rumor that the server he tried to log on–World V–sucks players into the game.
Unable to find out where your brother is from clues at school or around his apartment, you decide to try logging in the game due to your desire to understand the brother that you once adored–the brother that has recently grown somewhat distant. You make a character on a normal server…and accidentally get sucked into World V.
There are a total of six routes in this game that I will review in the order that I played them:
When I initially started Astrum’s route in the game, I sort of rolled my eyes at how I had ended up on seemingly the blandest of routes. He seemed like the perfect angelic prince–strong, kind, a great leader, and slightly pervy. I was yawning until about halfway through the route where you learn about his real life personality and realize he’s a hardcore RPer. Then he became entertaining and adorable in a dorky way. He’s super awkward outside of the game and mumbles a lot, which I also found somewhat endearing.
Astrum is the only route in the game that you get to experience from the angel’s side. He is also the leader of the angels, plays somewhat like a paladin in other MMOs, and is fairly high leveled. You do run into him in every other route as well, and he does similarly become infatuated with you at first sight in every other route. Overall, I think he had a solid route in the game with little to complain about (except for the slow early experience).
Hiroya is your childhood friend and the character featured on the cover of the game. His route also seems longer than most of the other routes, suggesting that he is the canon route of the game. I have overall mixed opinions about his route–clearly he and the MC have the closest relationship because they have known each other for so long, so it feels more natural than a lot of the other relationships where the MC and guy have only known each other for a few days. However, Hiroya has moments where he is somewhat aggressive towards the main character, choosing to be rough instead of kind, and I don’t find that attractive. I know this happens a lot in manga (where girl gets shoulder slammed into wall, wounds are licked painfully, arms are pinned above her head so that she can be warned about how dangerous it is to trust men, etc.), but I don’t think any act of violence is acceptable in romance.
Hiroya is on the demon’s side in the game, and apparently he’s one of the lower level players in the game. I think he falls into the melee DPS category of MMOs with a couple of self-healing skills. Hiroya clearly likes the MC from the start of the game, although he will back off respectfully in other routes. Overall, he had an okay route, albeit a little standard and forgettable, especially for being the canon route.
Libera is a black mage on the demon’s side in the game. Libera is also what my friends and I would call…a trap! He is a young boy that plays as a girl and flirts with other players for free items. He is also a regular liar in general. In his route, Libera clings to the MC pretty early and doesn’t really express his actual motives of approaching her, although as the route progresses it is clear that he likes being around her.
My favorite part of Libera’s route was learning his place among the characters in the game. You come to learn why he’s in the game and what relationship he has with some of the other members. He is initially somewhat manipulative, but further into his route he becomes more supportive of the MC. There is no physical abuse in this route (Yay!), and I felt like his backstory fleshed out his character more so than some other routes. Plus, there are quite a few comical moments in his route as well.
Zain is an interesting character because he is a NPC. That means that he isn’t a real person like the rest of the players that is trapped in this world—he was created by it. When you initially meet in other routes, he certainly welcomes you like a NPC and offers quests like one would. However, he also displays some human emotion, which surprises all the characters that interact with him.
In his route, he seems to be like a child first discovering the world trapped in an adult’s body. However, that also means he crosses lines he shouldn’t cross (sexual harassment), which I was not really okay with. After the halfway point in the story, a series of events occurs that gives him the crazy eyes, and he nearly becomes the game’s yandere, except I think the game has a true yandere…
While I was playing the other routes, I noticed that Radius has a certain charm about him that made him scream popular bishounen way more than the other guys. After playing his route, we find out that he’s actually a celebrity–a celebrity that is addicted to a MMO :D.
I quite enjoyed Radius’s route. He’s one of the few characters with a kabedon scene (i.e. pinning the heroine’s back to the wall), which I have to admit I laughed out loud at and was glad it didn’t turn violent. The only particular downside I felt about his route is that…there’s not enough Radius. He plays the cool lone wolf character for most of the route, so you don’t actually get much interaction with him until the second half. However, he does somewhat make up for it by providing you with the only real kiss scene in the game (all the others are super platonic).
Poyo-poyo is the mysterious monster that seems to provide useful information to the players throughout the various other routes. He was overall suspicious, so when I finally got to his route I had my hypothesis finally confirmed.
All spoiler content because this route doesn’t unlock until you’ve played through all the previous routes.
[Spoiler]Shiki appears to be the true yandere of the game. It’s clear that his obsession with his sister has taken an unhealthy turn after all these years, and he’s willing to violently murder anyone who threatens her. Truly, the entire route made me feel somewhat uncomfortable with the amount of creepiness he exudes. However, there was a bit of a turning point towards the latter half of the route where I did start to feel like he was just a tragic character put in an unfortunate set of circumstances.
I liked Shiki’s route primarily because we finally learned the motives behind developing the Period Cube, answered many questions about their past that led up to this point, and ultimately, it felt like the true ending of the game. I liked that the main character asked for time to be rewound to that pivotal moment that led them to this story and how the alternate universe unraveled. The Shiki in the good ending was particularly likeable. I do, however, really like the step-brother/step-sister stories in manga, so that likely explains part of the bias.[End Spoiler]
No. Just no. PROTEST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! ୧༼ಠ益ಠ༽୨
Do I recommend this game?
Overall, I felt like this game appeals to fans of the MMORPG genre of games. Various acronyms including RP, PK, etc. show up throughout the game, and sometimes I feel like it would be a foreign language to someone who wasn’t familiar with the MMO genre. They do define every term that is commonly used, but overall it is smoother I think if the player is familiar with the games. I felt right at home since I spent an embarrassing amount of my childhood (and *cough* adulthood *cough*) playing MMOs
I liked the good routes, and I really disliked the instances of domestic violence. I absolutely hated Demento’s route from start to finish. I frowned a little bit when Hiroya exhibited a little violence on the main character. I disliked the essentially sexual harrassment that came from Zain. I though Astrum was cute. I thought Libera’s route was good. I thought Radius was an entertaining character if nothing else. I thought Poyo-Poyo’s route was fulfilling. That puts my favorite routes in the order of Libera > Poyo-Poyo > Radius > Astrum > Hiroya > Zain. Demento is disqualified. We’ll pretend he never happened.
So yes, I think you should pick this game up if you like otome games! However, I would still say that Norn 9 and especially Code Realize are both better titles than this one. But if you are thirsting for otome games like I always am, this is worth playing.
Now to wait for Collar X Malice to roll out on July 28th :).